I have done a PSA on this topic a few times and I am at it again… how do we choose a coach for ourselves? So many “golfers” are using the internet now to “coach themselves” which I must share has been great for business! Why you ask? Because most people misdiagnose themselves and this leads to worse play, practice and adds to regression and pain! Now they are ready (they think) for a coach…are you?
Here are five points to keep in mind during the selection process-
Point one: there are no quick fixes in human performance. In other words, becoming even good at golf takes an expert. The expert needs to not only understand and be able to change technique but also physical and mental performance as well. Coaching needs to be process as well as data (results) driven. Coaching is more than “someone spouting information leaning on a 7 iron”.
Point two: One would assume if someone is credentialed as a PGA they can teach but be careful. There are 23 different tracks in the PGA and only one is teaching (not even coaching). There are many good teachers but are they coaches?
Point three: A good way to learn about your possible coach is to observe them on the lesson tee. My tee box is always open visitors, perspective clients, interns, observers, always and always at no charge. YES, some teachers charge for you to observe them. Once you observe the coach, ask for some time quickly after the observation to ask some questions other than price. How long are the coaching sessions? 30 minutes (not long enough), 45 minutes (getting closer), 60 minutes (there you go). Any video analysis with voiceover? Notes to follow up? What technology is being used? Any on course coaching and play (if not run away). Observe the coaches culture very carefully? How does he/she interact with the student? How is the time spent the coach talking or is their interaction? Does the coach move the student? Use training aids for feel in drills or to create barriers? What is their gateway for you to come to the academy or for coaching? A full assessment is key in my way of thinking. A few students have called me and told me 6 lessons should make the change…really? If that was the case, why isn’t the problem changed already? We ALWAYS assess, always.
Point four: Is the person a teacher or coach? Teachers are generally transactional, meaning time for money. Coaches are transformational and they impact your life along with your golf game! I’ll share, I LOVE my students and know them, their stories, journeys, families in many, many cases. We travel together, have dinners, play golf and talk about other topics not because I am being paid but because I genuinely care for them. My unique purpose is to coach, I was created for it and I work at my craft every day. I work at my game, my mobility and stability, my nutrition, my leadership and listening skills, my communication…the list goes on.
Point five: Adopt a growth mindset. Whatever needs to be done will take time, are you willing to commit? A good way to think is to think about all the “reps” you took to be good or great at your vocation…that is what it’ll take to be good or great at golf! Can you coach get you to your goals? How will they get there? Are they willing to give you a voice in the process?
Overall you are seeking a long term solution that will take time (and money) but it is well worth the journey!! Take your time and always remember you are in control (sort of) if coming to me I choose you more than you choose so as you are observing me, I am observing you for a “fit” as well like any great coach!